Seventeen Youngstown State University students rang in the new year in London as part of the London Dublin Study Tour.
The $2,950 tour was offered to students as a three-credit marketing elective for international business.
The journey began after a 10-hour flight out of New Jersey. After touching down in London, students traveled six hours via bus and ferryboat to Dublin.
“Everyone pretty much wanted to get off of the ferry 10 minutes into the ride,” senior Justin Butt said. “We were all pretty miserable and seasick.”
For 10 days, the students visited several large corporations such as BP, which is headquartered in London, and met with executives who shared their accounts of handling international matters and marketing strategies.
“We try to get women speakers for the presentations because a lot of our students haven’t seen women in professional business roles,” said Peter Reday, an associate professor of marketing at YSU. “One speaker spoke about the strategy she was going to use in court to take over a company. You wouldn’t get that in business school.”
The presentations were geared toward learning about senior-level business. However, they also offered an opportunity to see how industry professionals act and dress.
“Students don’t really know how to act in the business world,” Reday said. “When you get out of here, you’re going to know everything about accounting, finance and marketing — but you don’t know how to act the part. That’s what we try to present to them on the trip.”
In their free time while abroad, students were asked to do a comparative study. Accounting majors observed the different currencies and the currency exchange rate. The trip was designed for the students’ majors and added international experience to their resumes.
Students also visited the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, the Guinness brewery and other tourist sites.
“One of my favorite things that we did was going to Windsor Castle where the queen lived,” junior Kayla Micco said. “Seeing the guards you only get to see in movies, and seeing that they actually exist, was really cool.”
Students found free time in the afternoon or at night to explore.
Butt recalled jumping into the Irish Sea with three other students.
“They said that not a lot of people had done it before,” Butt said. “It’s a spot where the locals jump off because it’s 40 feet deep all around.
This was the first year there was a girl from our group who did it.”
On New Year’s Eve, the students ate dinner along the Thames River. They watched fireworks and brought party poppers to celebrate.
“This year, they moved the location of the fireworks to the other side of the bridge, so we only saw the shadow of the fireworks,” Micco said.
“They don’t do a big countdown like we do, so we were all shooting our party poppers at different times. No one knew when it was really New Year’s, but it was so much fun.”
The London Dublin Study Tour has been offered for 10 years, and it usually occurs over winter break. A trip to China is offered during the summer. Approximately 250 students have traveled overseas for the international business course.